Chris at playhouse

“I watched as Christopher Joel Onken gave a performance of a lifetime as the ‘Elephant Man’ and it utterly amazed me. I was quite literally in awe. The script is amazingly written and truly captivating. Onken’s performance makes you not only feel for Merrick (the Elephant Man) but also with him as you witness this segment of his life of struggles.” ~

“The bright, promising young playwright Clifford Anderson is played with charm and malice by Christopher Joel Onken.” ~ Arts Memphis, “A Review of Deathtrap,”  June 13, 2013

“The role of Ken also needs a strong interpretation to counterbalance Rothko’s titanic ego, and happily, Onken nails it, going from deer-in-the-headlights fear to a centered assertiveness.” ~ Go Memphis, “Actors Work Their Magic in ‘Red’,” August 26, 2013

“Christopher Joel Onken has distinguished himself all season with notable performances in ‘Other Desert Cities,’ ‘Clybourne Park,’ ‘Red’ and ‘Deathtrap.'” ~ The Commercial Appeal, “‘Grace’ Elevated by Impressive Acting, Sharp Writing,” April 14, 2014

“Luigi — that stereotypical cartoon figure — is far more interesting than that of New York’s Luigi. The character look muscular, but also supple and oddly elegant, with elements of both pathos and a kind of intelligence. Of course, actor Christopher Joel Onken gets much — or most — of the credit for that portrayal.” ~ Juliet Wittman, Westword, “Review: Discover The Explorers’ Club at Lone Tree Arts Center–Fast!” October 20, 2015.

“A turning point in the story [of Julius Caesar] is, of course, Marc Antony’s appeal to the commoners. The scene during which Marc Antony promises that he understands the conspirators and wishes only to speak in memory of Caesar at his funeral was especially touching. He visibly trembles in their presence, leading them to think he is fearful and submissive, when actually his trembling is the product of anger. A combination of Christopher Joel Onken’s passionate delivery of the funeral oration and the clever staging of the speech in the middle of the audience gave it a power not usually seen.” ~Beki Pineda, Boulder Magazine, “Review: Julius Caesar,” July 21, 2017.

” . . . Supreme performances from David H. Littleton, who plays Gene, a trapped miner who may or may not have triggered the collapse, and Christopher Joel Onken in the role of Marshall, who arrives on scene with a golly-gosh-gee Boy-Scout-first-responder vibe.” ~Cathy Salustri, Creative Loafing, “Northside Hollow: Man vs. . . .?” January 27, 2018.

“The performances are outstanding across the board. Onken is magnetic as Will Shakespeare, capturing the elation and frustration that comes with being in love. Youngblood equals Onken’s charisma as Viola, evoking the yearning and desire that drives the young woman forward in all ways. The two of them together are dynamite; the chemistry is palpable. The pair clicks both romantically and comedically, which is both difficult to pull off and great fun to watch.” ~Allen Adams, The Main Edge, “Did My Heart Love Til Now? Shakespeare in Love,” July 23, 2019.

One thought on “Listen Up

  1. Had to look you up after your performance in BlueBarn’s Silent Sky production. Kudos. Fantastic performance!

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